Now in my fifth year working for The Weekly Times, I edit Farm magazine – the monthly magazine that shares stories of on-farm innovation. Before branching into agriculture journalism in 2014, I had worked for trade magazines that covered the food-and-drink retail industry in London, specifically reporting on the major supermarkets in the UK.
Prior to my magazines career, I was part of a small team of people behind a boutique grocery delivery company operating out of London’s New Covent Garden Market, bringing fresh produce and artisan foods directly to households across the UK’s capital city.
Fresh food and the people and regions that produce it have always been a passion. My career has covered the paddock-to-plate route in reverse. I am now delighted to be covering the stories of primary producers – who are the most important people in the food supply chain in my opinion.
I am an immigrant to Australia, originally from the US. I spent 10 years in London, and the most recent decade in Melbourne, where I live with my husband and our three children.
Dr. Marie Clark
Dr. Marie Clark is an educator, scientist and instructional coach. She is an immunology PhD graduate who has worked in academia but now brings her research skills to education at Maffra Secondary College. She is interested in pursuing evidence-based practices and educational research to improve student learning.
Marie was among the 78 female scientists selected worldwide to participate in the Homeward Bound 2018 program – a groundbreaking leadership initiative set against the backdrop of Antarctica. The aim of the program is to create a large collaboration of women who can create change and influence policy as it shapes our planet. Marie’s personal goal is to never stop learning and she is passionate about inspiring young people, particularly females, to pursue careers in STEM with confidence and leadership.
Liz Clay picked up the veggie growing bug having grown up on a market garden at Keysborough on Melbourne’s sandbelt. She has been growing certified organic vegetables in her own right for some 27 years on her property at Noojee in West Gippsland. With help from Lisa, Wally and the boys – two dogs Max and Sam, produce is marketed each week as Baw Baw Organics at farmers markets in Melbourne. Permaculture inspired, her small property not only produces a wide range of seasonal vegetables but also berries, fruit, nuts and beef. Being kind to the earth, certified organic and selling direct to loyal customers in Melbourne is fundamental to this small farm’s success.
Over the years Liz has been active in local, regional and international agriculture and NRM organizations – former Chair of the West Gippsland CMA, past World Board member of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements,(IFOAM), and President of Victorian Organic Industry Committee.
My early life involved growing up and working on the family market garden and later a beef cattle property as well as visits to extended family farms with sheep, dairy and fruit. The 70’s was a generation when women or certainly in our family were not encouraged to stay and work on the farm, we were educated in office skills and joined the workforce. In 1993 quite by accident I joined the Waste & Recycling industry and have enjoyed a very interesting and long career in various roles for KS Environmental fundamentally a transport company specialising in niche waste and recycling solutions where I remain today. Interestingly though not today’s story KS Environmental transitioned from piggeries into the recycling & waste industry. Each of us with a little passion can impact the environment and I hope I can share some ideas and inspiration with you.
Sallie is a busy mother-of-three and a passionate businesswoman. She is a Co-Founder and Director of Gippsland Jersey, an independent, farmer-owned premium milk brand that started in September 2016. Sallie has a strong focus on looking after and valuing dairy farmers by ensuring they are paid a fair price for the milk they produce. She is actively involved in the sales and marketing with a plan to further Gippsland Jersey by creating more value added dairy products and to bring on more jersey farmers to increase the supply of milk.
At Mirboo Farm, Kirsten Jones has taken her passion for horticulture and commitment to quality Australian-grown produce to cultivate a range of garlic in this outstanding farming land.
Kristie and her husband have strong farming backgrounds and together they operate a farm to fork business in West Gippsland. Their white dorper sheep and angus steers are raised naturally and handled using minimal stress techniques. They market their “Tennessee Tasty” meat direct to consumers with orders mainly through word of mouth and Facebook. Kristie likes to make her consumers accountable for their food and orders are only taken for whole lambs (nose to tail).
Jessie Matheson is a PhD Student at the University of Melbourne, in partnership with Museums Victoria. She is writing her thesis on the history of the Australian Rural Women’s Movement, a crucial aspect of which are the Women on Farms Gatherings. She is especially interested in the ways in which women form communities, and tell stories about their experiences.